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How to Get an Interview at (Almost) Any Company

In my line of work (recruiting, job search coaching, and resume writing) and through my comments on Reddit, I’m often asked by job seekers how they can get noticed by a favored employer (which we’ll call COMPANY). A good resume, cover letter, and online profile are the standards if you don’t already have a friend on the inside, but when ...

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Java Developers and Their Long, Horrible Resumes

Let me start by saying that I consider myself a longstanding friend and ally to the Java community. As some readers will know, I founded and ran a large Java Users Group (I miss you Philly) for 15 years, and much of my career was spent focused entirely on recruiting Java professionals. In one capacity or another I have probably ...

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I’m Not Good Enough (Hope They Don’t Find Out)

“Man, I am in over my head! Everyone here is so much smarter than I am. Hope they don’t find out how dumb I really am. They’ll laugh me right out the door.” Maybe it’s just me, or maybe, you have had thoughts like this too? For the one or two out there who may have had similar thoughts, this ...

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Embrace your weirdness and stop worrying

Once you’ve reached the point where you’re a proficient programmer with a good understanding of a useful tech stack, you’re now faced with the sisyphean task of Keeping Up with New Tech. Polishing your professional skills becomes trendsspotting, starting with daily Hacker News browsing sessions to find out what’s going to be the new hotness, and then making sure you ...

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Salaries and Job Offerings Categorized by Programming Language

The Paysa Blog recently featured a post Silicon Valley’s Most Valuable Skills in which they looked at the most valuable software development skills in the United States in terms of average salary and in terms of job openings listing the skill. Of particular interest to me was the portion of the post on programming languages and how average salaries and ...

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We Love Older Programmers

I was on the phone yesterday with a senior level hiring manager from a potential new client, and she said something I hadn’t heard in a long while. “We love older programmers.“ When I speak with CTOs and hiring authorities about their dream hires, some are more cautious than others when stating their preferences. I’m not a lawyer and don’t know ...

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Negotiation for Contract-To-Hire Jobs

I was recently asked a question on Reddit about a specific contract-to-hire (C2H) scenario that I hadn’t given much thought to recently. With the prevalence of C2H (sometimes called ‘try before you buy’ in the recruiting world) in the market today, I thought the topic was worthy of full exploration. What Is Contract-to-hire? For those unfamiliar, contract-to-hire is where a ...

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Agents for Software Developers, Revisited

A few recent Reddit and Hacker News posts alluded to the idea of agents in the world of software. If professional athletes and artists can have agents representing them in hiring and negotiation situations, why not software talent as well? Recruiters are almost always mentioned in these discussions, and after almost 20 years in agency recruiting I feel I understand ...

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Show (Don’t Tell) Me That You Haven’t Stopped Learning

Whether through my recruiting work or my resume writing and coaching, I frequently review resumes that lead off with some kind of statement alluding to the candidate being a dedicated lifelong learner. Intellectual curiosity and a desire to keep skills current is something that many hiring companies will value, so it’s generally a good idea to convey those traits if you possess ...

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